The National Library of Greece (NLG) is the National Library of Greece. It is a leading custodian and administrator of the intellectual heritage of the Greeks. Its mission is to identify, gather, organize, describe, and preserve in perpetuity the evidence of science and culture created in Greece or internationally and related to Hellenism over time, offering open and equal access to all interested parties.

It was founded by Ioannis Kapodistrias in 1829, and its course is parallel to the history of the Greek state. In its 188 consecutive years of operation, it hoards the intellectual property of Hellenism and, until today, has developed a unique collection of 2,000,000 items.

Until 2017, it was housed in the Vallianio building on Panepistimiou Street in the center of Athens. The year 2018 marks its historic relocation from the emblematic vallianeum to its new building, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

The original idea for the establishment of a national library belonged to the philhellene Johann Jakob Mayer, in an August 1824 article in his journal Greek Chronicles, published in Missolonghi, from where Mayer and Lord Byron promoted Greek independence. Mayer's idea was implemented in 1829 by the new governor Ioannis Kapodistrias , who grouped the National Library together with other intellectual institutions such as schools, national museums, and printing presses. They were originally housed in a building (which later became an orphanage) in Aegina and were curated by Andreas Moustoxidis, who became chairman of the committee of the orphanage, director of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, and director of the Public School.

At the end of 1830, the library, which Moustoxydis called the National Library, had 1,018 volumes of printed books, that had been collected by Greeks and Philhellenes. In 1834, the Library was moved to Athens, the new capital, and was initially temporarily housed in the public baths in the Roman Agora and later in the Church of Agios Eleftherios, then in the metropolis and other important buildings.

In 1842, the National Library merged with the library of the University of Athens (15,000 volumes) and was housed together with the current collection in the new building of the Othonian University. The first director (now called "superintendent") of the expanded institution was Georgios KozaTypaldos, who held the position until 1863. During this period, the library was enriched thanks to significant donations and rare foreign language books from all over Europe. By royal decre1877–1910, the two libraries were merged, and were now administered under the name "National Library of Greece". In the period 1877-1910, the assistant director was Michael Defner.


ΕΒΕ – Βαλλιάνειο Μέγαρο
Δ/νση: Πανεπιστημίου 32, 10679, Αθήνα
Τηλ. +30 2103 382 541

NLG - Votanikos Building
Address: Leof. Athinon 31-33 & Spirou Patsi 12, 10447 Athens
Tel. +30 2103 608 149

Address:Leof. Syggrou 364, 17674, Kallithea
Τel.. +30 2130 999 700